Our Gardeners are prepped and ready for a successful growing season here in Magoffin County. As our gardeners start collecting the first fruits of their labors we talked about heart health cooking and how to include a little extra exercise in their gardening chores by walking the perimeter of their gardens; while looking out for potential diseases and pests.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Around 35 percent of the population is living with some form of heart disease. Choosing a heart healthy diet is the first step to combat heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which prevents the development of fatty build up in the blood vessels and help make a difference in the “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

The best part about gardening is sitting around the dinner table with a plate full of fruits and vegetables grown by you to feed your family. The flavor of fresh fruits and veggies is out of this world. Once you’re spoiled with the fresh taste you will never go back to grocery store berries or veggies. We had a wonderful lesson about heart healthy choices and taste tested an apple spinach salad recipe with homemade dressing. Even our pickiest eaters loved the fresh flavor! As harvesting season is fast approaching, we wanted our gardeners to feel confident in their cooking skills and recipe choices. While this class discussed cooking with fresh produce, 0ur next class will cover how we can preserve the harvested fruits and veggies to use at a later date by canning, freezing, and dehydrating.